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Published 2024-06-14

Half of second-hand purchases replace new ones, report shows

Today, we’re releasing our Second-Hand Effect report! Schibsted Marketplaces has tracked the climate impacts and benefits of second-hand trade across our marketplaces FINN, Tori, DBA and Blocket.

“At Schibsted Marketplaces, we recognise that circular business models are game-changers in reducing the environmental impact of consumption by cutting emissions. These insights are crucial to ensure we stay ahead in helping our users make more sustainable choices,” says Cathrine Laksfoss, EVP Recommerce at Schibsted Marketplaces. 

Our Second-Hand report found that around half of second-hand purchases made in the Nordics replace the purchase of new items, with replacement rates of 55% in Denmark, 54% in Norway, 50% in Sweden and 47% in Finland. As an example, this means that 54% of second-hand items purchased from second-hand platforms in Norway replace the purchase of a similar new item.

Schibsted Marketplaces’ Recommerce business area facilitates trade of second-hand goods through the brands Finn, Tori, DBA and Blocket. Leveraging the automated software from carbon-calculation and reduction partner Vaayu, this report analyses and quantifies their estimated avoided emissions, looking at direct and indirect emissions from operations, packaging and deliveries. 

Why the replacement rate matters

The report also found the aforementioned replacement rate, which measures and assesses how effectively second-hand items can substitute new ones. This is important for Schibsted Marketplaces because the extent to which purchases on our marketplaces offset CO2 emissions from producing and distributing new products largely depends on this replacement rate. 

Purchasing goods second-hand will almost always avoid emissions if you’re purchasing an item second-hand instead of buying it new. It doesn’t have the same impact if you were not planning to purchase a new item at all, or if you are purchasing it in addition to new items. 

“This report shows us that we’re only at the start of the transition towards a circular economy. There is still a lot to be done to change consumption patterns and reach our goal of making the sustainable choice the obvious choice,” says Markus Ahlberg, Chief Sustainability Officer at Schibsted Marketplaces.

The findings in this report offer a foundational understanding and clear benchmarks for Schibsted Marketplaces’ ongoing efforts to support sustainable consumer choices. It demonstrates how recommerce can help avoid negative climate impact and is advancing a more sustainable retail industry.

Collectively Schibsted Marketplaces’ Recommerce businesses avoided an estimated 349,726 tonnes CO2 emissions last year, which is equivalent to:

  • 1,883,425 car journeys from Oslo to Stockholm and back
  • Producing 2,388,937 new bicycles

Download and read the report here.